The Aga Khan University Hospital continued its dedication towards early detection of Breast Cancer by organizing its annual Pink Walk on Friday evening. The event kicked off with a welcome address by Dr. Hasnain Zafar, General Surgeon and Service Line Chief of Gastrointestinal Medicine and Surgery.
In his address, Dr. Hasnain said, “An early detection does not only result in cost-effective treatment, but also saves lives. All of us have a duty to spread awareness on early diagnosis of breast cancer”.
While the Pink Walk was the highlight of the evening, the Hospital’s Breast Surgery Consultants used this event to engage and educate the audience on the benefits of breast screening.
“It is important to understand that this disease is treatable if caught early. Cancer’s lump at zero stage, which cannot be felt at self-examination, can be diagnosed from mammogram and has a survival rate of 99%”, said Dr. Abida K. Sattar, Breast Surgeon and Section Head of Breast Surgery at the Aga Khan University Hospital, on the topic of early detection of Breast Cancer.
Pakistan has the highest incidence of Breast Cancer in Asia. An estimate of 1 in 9 women may develop Breast Cancer in their lifetime. “Last year, the Aga Khan University Hospital initiated the first mobile mammography screening programme that piloted in Karachi and then in Hyderabad. Our aim is to make this programme accessible to women all over Pakistan”, said Dr. Sana Zeeshan, Breast Surgeon and Director Breast Screening at the Aga Khan University Hospital.
Dr. Saida Rasul, Senior Lecturer, Section of Dentistry at the Aga Khan University and a breast cancer survivor herself, then took to the stage and shared an inspiring and hopeful message, reflecting from her own journey of battling this disease.
Prior to the Pink Walk, Aurangzaib Hassan, Fitness professional, warmed up and energized the participants.
Shah Sultan Pirani, 80 plus year old breast cancer survivor, led the Pink Walk after ribbon cutting at the start line. A crowd of over 500 men, women and children, dressed in pink along with pink caps and ribbons, walked to show their support for the cause. Several participants also held placards of crisp and powerful facts on Breast Cancer.
World Breast Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated internationally every October. The Aga Khan University Hospital also dedicates the entire month to educating the public that early detection saves lives. In addition to encouraging women who are 40 years of age and above to get screening mammograms done every year, the Hospital also encourages men to urge their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters for the same, with the objective to detect cases of cancer early, and save lives.